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Full text of "I And Thou"

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it into a reality for himself, he must find for himself
his own world by seeing and hearing and touching and
shaping it. Creation reveals, in meeting, its essential
nature as form. It does not spill itself into expectant
senses, but rises up to meet the grasping senses. That
which will eventually play as an accustomed object
around the man who is fully developed, must be wooed
and won by the developing man in strenuous action.
For no thing is a ready-made part of an experience;
only in the strength, acting and being acted upon,
of what is over against men, is anything made access-
ible. Like primitive man the child lives between sleep
and sleep (a great part of his waking hours is also sleep)
in the flash and counter-flash of meeting.
The primal nature of the effort to establish relation
is already to be seen in the earliest and most confined
stage. Before anything isolated can be perceived, timid
glances move out into indistinct space, towards some-
thing indefinite; and in times when there seems to be
no desire for nourishment, hands sketch delicately and
dimly in the empty air, apparently aimlessly seeking and
reaching out to meet something indefinite. You may,
if you wish, call this an animal action, but it is not
thereby comprehended. For these very glances will
after protracted attempts settle on the red carpet-
pattern and not be moved till the soul of the red has
opened itself to them ; and this very movement of the
hands will win from a woolly Teddy-bear its precise
form, apparent to the senses, and become lovingly
and unforgettably aware of a complete body. Neither
of these acts is experience of an object, but is the
correspondence of the child—to-be sure only " fanciful "